Sunday’s Tales of the Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway is shaping up to be a great race, in part due to the developing storyline of Toyotas vs. Everyone thanks to Brad Keselowski’s comments on Friday. And while the Toyotas are definitely the cars to beat heading into the race on Sunday, it is noteworthy that of the six fastest cars in Happy Hour here on Saturday, only one of them was a Toyota.
We got back to the “normal” weekend schedule this weekend, as there was a practice session and qualifying held on Friday followed by two more practice sessions on Saturday. Kyle Busch will lead the field to the green on Sunday with teammate Denny Hamlin alongside, and the full starting lineup can be found by clicking here. The practice speeds from those two sessions can be found here: Practice #2 — Happy Hour, and, as always, our in-depth practice notes can be found here: Practice #2 — Happy Hour.
Final Top 25 Ranking For The 2017 Tales of the Turtles 400
1. Martin Truex, Jr. – Starts 3rd – DraftKings Price: $10,700 – Yahoo! A Group
**Risk Factor: Low Risk**
Martin Truex, Jr. has been the best driver on 1.5-mile race tracks this year, and it’s not even close. As far as the tracks similar to Chicagoland–Las Vegas, Kansas, and Kentucky–Truex is a perfect 3-for-3 in getting wins this season, and the #78 Toyota is definitely going to be one of the cars to contend with in Sunday’s Tales of the Turtles 400. Truex is the defending winner of this race but surprisingly that is his only top 5 finish here in eleven career starts (and just his third top 10). This weekend, the #78 Toyota was fast off the truck and wound up with the 3rd-place starting spot in qualifying on Friday. On Saturday, Truex was the fastest in Practice #2 and then wound up 8th-fastest in Happy Hour. In terms of ten-lap average, he ranked 4th in that final session.
2. Kyle Busch – Starts 1st – DraftKings Price: $10,600 – Yahoo! A Group
**Risk Factor: Low Risk**
Pole sitters haven’t fared well here at Chicagoland over the last few years. Kyle Busch started on the pole in last year’s race here, too, but led just 21 laps en route a 7th-place finish. In 2015, Kevin Harvick was on the pole but led just 10 laps and ended up finishing 42nd after wrecking with Jimmie Johnson. In 2014, Kyle Busch was once again on the pole, and also ended up 7th but led just 46 of the 267 laps. And in 2013, Joey Logano started on the pole but had engine issues and finished 37th after leading 32 laps. With all that being said, the pole curse is more than likely going to change this weekend, because the #18 Toyota is bad fast. Kyle Busch started Practice #2 late on Saturday but ended up 10th on the overall speed chart and 6th in ten-lap average (although his run was later than most driver’s). In Happy Hour, Rowdy was fastest in overall speed and had the 2nd-best ten-lap average. As far as 1.5-mile tracks go, Kyle Busch has an average finish of 8.7 on this track length in 2017 and an average result of 6.3 on the tracks with similar banking to Chicagoland. Rowdy won from the pole here back in 2008 and is currently on a five-race streak of top 10 finishes at this track. Expect him to make it six in a row here on Sunday.
3. Kevin Harvick – Starts 4th – DraftKings Price: $10,100 – Yahoo! A Group
**Risk Factor: Medium Risk**
In three starts here at Chicagoland with Stewart-Haas Racing, Kevin Harvick really only has one good finish, and that was a 5th-place result back in 2014. Last year, he had to start at the rear of the field and never really recovered from that and wound up finishing 20th, and in 2015 Harvick started from the pole but had an engine issue and ended up 42nd. This weekend, the #4 Ford will roll off the grid from 4th-place, and Harvick should be a solid top 5 car all night. He was decently fast in the first practice session on Saturday, but in Happy Hour, Harvick was 6th-fastest on the overall speed chart and had the best ten-lap average. Additionally, Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte kept commenting on how good the #4 Ford was on the long runs, and that should pay dividends on Sunday. Harvick is pretty boom or bust here at Chicagoland–two wins and eight top 5s in sixteen career starts along with six finishes outside of the top 15–but it looks like it’s going to be a boom situation for this #4 team here on Sunday.